Concord, CA 94524

Alarm Ordinance

Chapter 8.48 BURGLARY AND ROBBERY ALARM SYSTEM REGULATIONS[3]

8.48.010 Definitions. For the purpose of this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise, certain words and phrases used in this chapter are defined as follows: (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

Alarm dispatch request means a notification to the police department that an alarm system, either manual or automatic, has been activated at a particular premises.

Alarm owner means a person having or maintaining an alarm system on real property owned or controlled by such person. "Alarm owner" does not include an alarm system installation company or alarm system monitoring company.

Alarm response manager (ARM) means an individual capable of reaching and having access to the premises, the code to the alarm system, and the authority to approve repairs to the alarm system.

Alarm system means any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of any unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility, or upon land or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or upon land; and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when actuated. Alarm systems include, but are not limited to, automatic telephone dialing devices, telephone lines or other lines used solely to report emergency circumstances from a mechanical or electrical device directly from the premises to the police dispatch or alarm system monitoring company, audible alarms and proprietor alarms. Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected land, building, structure or facility are not included within this definition, nor are auxiliary devices installed by the telephone company to protect telephone company systems which might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system.

Alarm system installation company means a person in the business of selling, providing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing an alarm system in a premises. This definition shall also include individuals or firms that install and service the alarm systems that will be used in their private or proprietary facilities. This does not include persons doing installation or repair work where such work is performed without compensation of any kind.

Alarm system monitoring company means any person, either located within or outside the city, that engages in the business, practice, or profession of monitoring alarm systems within the city, and which reports, directly or indirectly, any activation of such alarm systems to the city, its departments, divisions, officials, agents, or employees including, but not limited to, the police department and/or police dispatch.

Audible alarm means a device designed for the detection of unauthorized entry on premises which generates an audible sound on the Premises when it is activated.

Automatic telephone dialing device means a device which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by voice message or digital signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response.

Duress alarm means a silent alarm signal generated by the entry of a designated code into the alarm system to signal that the alarm owner is being forced to turn off the system and requires police response.

False alarm means an alarm system that emits a light or sound, or transmits a signal or message, resulting in a response by the police department when the situation does not require such response. False alarms caused as a result of power failure, power surges, or acts of nature not the fault of the alarm owner or alarm system installation Company shall not be considered to be a false alarm.

False alarm management company means a company or organization who administers certain provisions of this chapter.

False alarm program means the program run by the chief of police which administers the provisions on this chapter.

Holdup alarm means a silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress or immediately after it has occurred.

Nuisance alarm means an alarm as described in Section 8.48.060 herein.

One plus duress alarm means the manual activation of a silent alarm signal by entering a code at the mechanism from which the alarm system is turned on (armed) and off (disarmed) regularly activated by adding one to the last digit of the normal arm/disarm code.

Panic alarm means an audible signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life threatening or emergency situation requiring police response.

Person means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, company, corporation, limited liability company, business or other form of association or entity.

Premises means any private residential, commercial or industrial land and/or buildings located within the city. Premises includes land or buildings owned, rented, or leased by the federal, state or local governments, and school districts.

Proprietor alarm means an alarm which is not serviced by an alarm system installation company or alarm system monitoring company.

8.48.020 Power of chief of police to regulate. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. The chief of police is empowered and authorized to regulate the use of alarm systems and administer the regulations and provisions of this chapter through the false alarm program. The chief of police may, in his or her discretion, suspend police response to a nuisance alarm as defined in Section 8.48.060 or to an alarm or alarm owner due to excessive false alarms, except that the chief of police, in his or her discretion, may continue to respond to duress alarms, hold up alarms, or panic alarms.

B. The chief of police shall: [1.] Designate the manner, form and telephone numbers for the communication of alarm dispatch requests. [2.] Establish a procedure to accept cancellation of alarm dispatch requests. [3.] Establish a system of recording data and maintaining records necessary to implement this chapter. [4.] Establish procedure for notifying alarm owners of false alarms, including information regarding the date and time of police response to the false alarm, the amount of the fine for a false alarm and that response will be suspended to a nuisance alarm or for excessive false alarms; and a description of the appeals procedure available to the alarm owner. 

C. If so requested by the chief of police, an alarm owner and the alarm system installation company and/or alarm system monitoring company responsible for the repair or monitoring of the alarm system shall appear at an appointed time and place to meet with a representative of the city to review the circumstances of each false alarm. For these purposes, the alarm system installation company and/or alarm system monitoring company must have a designated contact on record with the chief of police.

D. The chief of police is authorized to promulgate regulations and procedures to require the removal, replacement or modification of certain types of alarm system devices, including but not limited to any duress, panic, or holdup alarm button.

E. The chief of police is authorized to delegate his or her duties under this chapter in the promulgation of the false alarm program.

8.48.030 Automatic telephone dialing devices prohibited except under certain limited circumstances. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

It is unlawful for any person to use, or cause to be used, any electrical or mechanical device or attachment to a telephone that automatically reports a taped or other recorded message of a police or fire emergency direct to the police department, except for special conditions of certain handicapped individuals. Each such call shall be deemed a separate violation punishable as a misdemeanor.

8.48.040 Audible alarm system requirements. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. No alarm system shall be installed, maintained or activated which emits the sound of a siren similar to those utilized on emergency vehicles or for air raid/disaster warnings.

B. Every alarm system having an audible signal shall have a sign or notice posted on or near the audible device with the name and telephone number of the alarm owner or person responsible for the maintenance of the system. The notice shall be posted in such a position as to be readable from the ground level outside and adjacent to the building.

C. Every alarm system having an audible signal installed after the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall have a timing device which automatically silences the alarm within thirty minutes after the alarm is activated. Every alarm system having an audible signal installed prior to the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter without such a timing device shall be required to have such a device installed if any activated alarm is not deactivated within the thirty-minute time limit. The alarm owner or alarm system monitoring company shall be responsible for deactivating an alarm within thirty minutes after notification that such alarm is activated and ringing, or within thirty minutes after reasonable efforts have been made to provide such notification.

8.48.050 False alarm fees. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. The chief of police may assess a false alarm response fee to an alarm owner for each police response to a false alarm. The amount of such fee shall be paid by the alarm owner as set forth by resolution of the city council.

B. A false alarm response fee shall not be assessed if the alarm system monitoring company or alarm owner promptly notifies police dispatch that a police response is not necessary, prior to the arrival of the police officer at the premises.

C. The chief of police shall notify the alarm owner in writing after each false alarm. The notification shall include: the amount of the false alarm fee assessment, the fact that police response may be suspended for excessive false alarms, and a description of the appeals procedure available to the alarm owner if they think the fee assessment is in error.

D. The alarm owner may request that a false alarm fee assessment be waived by setting forth, in writing, the reasons for the waiver request within fifteen business days after notice is received. This written appeal shall be sent to the false alarm management company. The appeal shall be reviewed by the chief of police or his or her designee. The decision of the chief of police or his or her designee is final.

8.48.060 Nuisance alarms. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A.  An alarm shall be deemed a nuisance alarm and a public nuisance when it has been emitting sound continuously for at least one hour, or intermittently for two hours, and has been reported to the police department as an annoyance by a person in the vicinity of the alarm, and the alarm owner or alarm response manager(s) is not available to silence the alarm or to cause it to be silenced.

[1.] Any officer of the police department is authorized to enter on exterior private property areas, and into vehicles on private property or public streets, for the purpose of silencing a nuisance alarm. Forcible entry may be made into exterior alarm equipment boxes, attics, and crawl space vents, in order to accomplish this purpose. Actions may be taken to silence vehicle alarms, including the towing of the vehicle as prescribed in the California Vehicle Code.

[2.] Neither the city nor its police officers, nor any officer or employee of the city, or of a private alarm service contractor engaged by the police department, shall be liable for damages to the alarm owner whose alarm system is emanating a nuisance alarm, for silencing the nuisance alarm, or for entry on the alarm owner's premises for the purpose of silencing a nuisance alarm or for any damage resulting from reasonable efforts to silence the nuisance alarm.

B. An alarm system shall be deemed a nuisance alarm and a public nuisance if such alarm system actuates excessive false alarms. Five or more false alarms in a one-year period shall be deemed a nuisance under this section.

C. An alarm system shall be deemed a nuisance alarm and a public nuisance if such an alarm system has been intentionally activated at least once to summon the police department to an incident for which the alarm system was not intended. This may include, but not be limited to, a robbery alarm being intentionally activated for an incident which is not a robbery, or an alarm which is intentionally activated, merely to see what police response would result.

D. An alarm system shall be deemed a nuisance alarm and a public nuisance if, after a request by the police department of the alarm owner or ARM to respond to an activated alarm in a manner requested by the police department, the alarm owner or ARM refuses to respond as requested.

8.48.070 No response. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. If an alarm system has fallen into the category of a nuisance alarm as defined in Section 8.48.060, the chief of police may, upon the next activation of that alarm, send a notice of no response to the alarm owner for the nuisance alarm. This notice shall indicate that the police department shall not respond to future activations of the nuisance alarm unless a violation of the law is personally reported to the department by a witness at the scene of the alarm. Such notice shall be sent ten days before the alarm response is to be suspended.

B. The no response status shall remain in effect until such time that the alarm owner for the nuisance alarm has provided adequate evidence to the chief of police that the problems causing the alarm to become a nuisance have been satisfactorily corrected.

8.48.080 Duties of the alarm owner. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. An alarm owner shall: [1.] Maintain the premises and the alarm system in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarms; [2.] Make every reasonable effort to respond, or have an ARM respond to the alarm system's location within twenty minutes when requested by the police department in order to: (a.) Deactivate an alarm system; (b.) Provide access to the premises; and/or (c.) Provide alternative security for the premises. [3.] Not activate an alarm system for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.

B. An alarm owner shall adjust the alarm system or cause the alarm system to be adjusted so that an audible alarm on the exterior of a premises will sound for no longer than thirty minutes after being activated.

C. An alarm owner shall have a licensed alarm system installation company inspect the alarm system after two false alarms in a one-year period. The chief of police may waive a required inspection if it determines that a false alarm could not have been related to a defect or malfunction in the alarm system. After four false alarms within a one-year period, the alarm owner must have a licensed alarm system installation company modify the alarm system to be more false alarm resistant and provide additional user training as appropriate.

D. An alarm owner shall not use an automatic telephone dialing device.

E. An alarm owner shall maintain at each premises, a set of written operating instructions for each alarm system.

F. All alarm owners shall agree with their alarm system installation company and/or alarm system monitoring company to go through an acclimation period for the first seven days after installation of an alarm system during which time the alarm system installation company and/or alarm system monitoring company will have no obligation to respond to any alarm signal from the premises or make alarm dispatch request of the police department, even if the alarm signal is the result of an actual alarm event.

G. This section applies to all persons, who have installed and/or monitor their own alarm system.

8.48.090 - Duties of alarm system installation company. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. Each alarm system installation company or an agent of any such company, operating or, or otherwise doing business in the city shall register its name and file a copy of its state issued identification card with the chief of police on a form prescribed by the chief of police.

B. Every alarm system installation company shall provide written and oral instructions to each of its alarm owners in the proper use and operation of their alarm systems. Such instructions will specifically include all instructions necessary to turn the alarm system on and off and to avoid false alarms. Alarm system installation Companies shall ensure that all alarm owners of alarm systems equipped with a duress, holdup, or panic alarm are given adequate training as to the proper use of the duress, holdup, or panic alarm.

C. Alarm system installation companies shall not program alarm systems so that they are capable of sending one plus duress alarms. The alarm system installation company shall remove the one plus duress alarm feature from alarm systems whenever an alarm technician is at the premises or otherwise accessing the panel for reprogramming purposes.

D. Alarm system installation companies shall not install a device to activate a holdup alarm, which is a single action, non-recessed button.

E. Alarm system installation companies shall use only ANSI/SIA CP-01 listed alarm control panels on all new installations and panel replacements or upgrades.

F. Alarm system installation companies shall not install automatic telephone dialing devices.

G. After completion of the installation of an alarm system, an alarm system installation company employee shall review with the alarm owner the customer false alarm prevention checklist or an equivalent checklist approved by chief of police.

H. An alarm system installation company that purchases alarm system accounts from another person shall notify the chief of police of such purchase and provide details as may be reasonably requested by the chief of police.

I. Each alarm system installation company must designate one individual as the alarm response manager ("ARM") for the company who will manage alarm related issues and act as the point of contact for the chief of police. The appointed individual must be knowledgeable of the general provisions of the ordinance, as well as have the knowledge and authority to deal with false alarm issues and respond to requests from the chief of police. The name, phone number, and email address of the designated ARM must be provided to the chief of police.

J. An alarm system installation company shall provide the false alarm management company with a customer list in a format acceptable to the chief of police, upon request, to assist with creating the police department's tracking data, so far as allowed with respect to state or local law that protects this customer information as confidential.

K. An alarm system installation company shall provide the false alarm management company with a list, in a format acceptable to the chief of police, of all new alarm system installations within thirty days of each new installation. This list shall include the contact information of the alarm owner and alarm response manager(s).

8.48.100 Duties of alarm system monitoring company. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. Each alarm system monitoring company or an agent of any such company, operating, monitoring, or otherwise doing business in the city, shall register its name and file a copy of its state issued identification card with the chief of police on a form prescribed by the chief of police.

B. Alarm system monitoring companies shall not make an alarm dispatch request of the police department in response to an alarm signal, excluding panic, duress and holdup signals, during the first seven days following an alarm system installation. The chief of police may grant an alarm owner's request for an exemption from this waiting period based upon a determination that special circumstances substantiate the need for the exemption.

C. An alarm system monitoring company shall: [1.] Verify every alarm signal, except a duress or holdup alarm activation, before initiating an alarm dispatch request; [2.] Attempt to contact the alarm owner or alarm response manager(s) (ARM) at least twice (using at least two separate contact numbers) before initiating an alarm dispatch request; [3.] Communicate alarm dispatch requests to the police department in a manner and form determined by the chief of police; [4.] Communicate alarm dispatch request cancellations to the police department in a manner and form determined by the chief of police; [5.] Ensure that all alarm owners of alarm systems equipped with a duress, holdup or panic alarm are given adequate training as to the proper use of the duress, holdup or panic alarm; [6.] Communicate any available information about the location on all alarm signals related to the alarm dispatch request; [7.] Communicate nature of alarm; [8.] After an alarm dispatch request, promptly advise the police department if the alarm system monitoring company knows whether the alarm owner or the ARM is on the way to the premises; [9.] Upon the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section, alarm system monitoring companies must maintain for a period of at least one year from the date of the alarm dispatch request, records relating to alarm dispatch requests. Records must include the name, address and telephone number of the alarm owner, the alarm system zone activated, the time of the alarm dispatch request and evidence of an attempt to verify the alarm owner or ARM(s). The chief of police may request copies of such records for individually named alarm owners. If the request is made within sixty days of an alarm dispatch request, the alarm system monitoring company shall furnish requested records within three business days of receiving the request. If the records are requested between sixty days to one year after an alarm dispatch request, the alarm system monitoring company shall furnish the requested records within thirty days of receiving the request.

D. An alarm system monitoring company that purchases alarm system accounts from another person shall notify the false alarm management company of such purchase and provide details as may be reasonably requested by the chief of police.

E. Each alarm system monitoring company must designate one individual as the alarm response manager (ARM) for the company who will manage alarm related issues and act as the point of contact for the chief of police. The appointed individual must be knowledgeable of the general provisions of the ordinance, as well as have the knowledge and authority to deal with false alarm issues and respond to requests from the chief of police. The name, phone number, and email address of the designated ARM must be provided to the chief of police.

F. An alarm system monitoring company shall provide the false alarm management company with a customer list in a format acceptable to the chief of police, upon request, to assist with creating the police department's tracking data, so far as allowed with respect to state or local law that protects this customer information as confidential.

G. An alarm system monitoring company shall provide the false alarm management company with a list, in a format acceptable to the chief of police, of all new alarm monitoring accounts within thirty days of each new account. This list shall include the contact information of the alarm owner and ARM(s).

8.48.110 Appeals. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. If the chief of police suspends response to alarms pursuant to Section 8.48.020 or Section 8.48.070, the chief of police shall send written notice of the action not less than ten (10) days prior to the effective date of such suspension and action and a statement of the right to an appeal to the alarm owner.

B. The alarm owner may appeal the above-referenced suspension to the city manager or his or her designee by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal within fifteen business days after notice. The decision of the city manager is final.

C. Filing of a request for appeal shall stay the action by the chief of police suspending the alarm response, until the city manager has completed his or her review.

8.48.120 Confidentiality. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

In the interest of public safety, all information pertaining to an alarm owner contained in and gathered through, the administration of the false alarm program shall be held in confidence by all employees or representatives of the city, provided that the city may disclose any information required to be disclosed by state or federal law or by court order after a reasonable notice to the alarm owner.

8.48.130 Government immunity. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

Administration of the false alarm program is not intended to, nor will it, create a contract, duty or obligation, either expressed or implied, of police response. Any and all liability and consequential damage resulting from the failure to respond to an alarm dispatch request is hereby disclaimed, and governmental immunity as provided by law is retained. When making an alarm dispatch request, the alarm owner acknowledges that police response may be influenced by factors such as: the availability of police units, priority of calls, weather conditions, traffic conditions, emergency conditions, staffing levels and prior response history.

8.48.140 Enforcement. (Ord. No. 2272 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018) 

A. It is unlawful for any person to violate or cause or permit to be violated any provision of this chapter. The assessment of a false alarm response fee as provided for in Section 8.48.050 is in addition to all other remedies available to the city.

B. In the event of the failure of any person to pay the assessments or fines pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the city may institute an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to collect any charges which may be due and payable in the same manner as any other debts owing to the city may be collected.

Chapter 8.49 - FIRE ALARM REGULATIONS

8.49.010 Purpose. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. The purpose of this chapter is to reduce the dangers and inefficiencies associated with false fire alarms and nuisance fire alarms, and to encourage alarm owners/entities and fire alarm businesses to properly use and maintain the operational effectiveness of fire alarm systems in order to improve the reliability of fire alarm systems and reduce or eliminate false fire alarms and nuisance fire alarms.

B. This chapter governs fire alarm systems intended to summon fire department personnel, requires assessment of fines for excessive false fire alarms and nuisance fire alarms, provides for education of alarm owners, provides for the severability of the parts hereof if declared invalid, and provides an effective date.

8.49.020 - Definitions. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018) As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

Adopted Code(s) means the California Fire Code including all indices and appendices, errata and amendments thereto, as adopted by the City of Morgan Hill and that are enforced by the City of Morgan Hill Fire Department.

Alarm initiating device means a device that is designed to respond either manually or automatically to smoke, fire, or activation of a fire suppression system.

Alarm owner means any person who owns, occupies, or controls the premises in which a fire alarm system is installed.

Alarm response administrator means the person or persons designated by the fire department to administer the provisions of this chapter.

Alarm response manager (ARM) means an individual capable of reaching and having access to the premises, the code to the fire alarm system, the authority to approve repairs to the fire alarm system, and is the individual designated by a fire alarm business to handle alarm issues for the business, or designated by the alarm owner to handle alarm issues for the premises, and act as the primary point of contact for the Morgan Hill Fire Department's Alarm Response Administrator.

Building division means the building division within the Morgan Hill Community Development Department.

Business license means a business license issued by the City of Morgan Hill to a fire alarm business to conduct business in the City of Morgan Hill.

Certificate of occupancy means no building or structure shall be used or occupied, and no change in the existing occupancy classification of a building or structure or portion thereof shall be made until the building official has issued a certificate of occupancy. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the city code or of other ordinances of the City of Morgan Hill.

Cancellation means the termination of a fire department response to a premises after a fire alarm dispatch request is made, but prior to the arrival of the fire department.

Conversion of alarm owner means the transaction or process by which one fire alarm business begins the servicing or monitoring of a previously unmonitored fire alarm system or a fire alarm system that was previously serviced or monitored by another fire alarm business

False fire alarm means the activation of any fire alarm system which results in a response by the fire department and which is caused by the negligence or intentional misuse of the fire alarm system by the alarm owner, its employees, or agents; or any other activation of a fire alarm System not caused by heat, smoke or fire, exclusive of a nuisance fire alarm.

Fee means the assessment of a monetary charge, including fines, payable to the City of Morgan Hill authorized pursuant to this chapter, to defray the expenses of responding to a false fire alarm or nuisance fire alarm and the administration of this chapter. "Fees" include any type or class of fee including late fees.

Fee schedule means the fee schedule adopted by city council applicable to this chapter.

Fine includes the fine payable to the city pursuant to Title 1 for violation of this chapter, unless otherwise specified in this chapter.

Fire alarm dispatch request means a notification to the fire department that an alarm, either manual or automatic, has been activated at a premises.

Fire alarm business means any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity that is appropriately licensed by the California State Fire Marshal's Office that installs, causes to be installed, permits to be installed, alters, maintains, repairs, replaces, services, or monitors any fire alarm system.

Fire Alarm System means a system or portion of a combination system consisting of components and circuits arranged to monitor and/or exterior annunciate the status of a fire alarm or supervisory signal-initiating devices and to initiate the appropriate Fire Alarm Dispatch Request.

Fire department means the City of Morgan Hill Fire Department.

Fire watch means an alarm response administrator or designee approved by the Morgan Hill Fire Department assigned to the Premises for the purpose of protecting the occupants from fire or similar emergencies. A fire watch may involve at least some special action beyond normal staffing, such as assigning a competent legal adult to walk the premises, who has been specially trained in fire prevention, the use of fire extinguishers, notifying the fire department, sounding the fire alarm system located on the premises, and understanding the particular fire safety situation.

Monitored System means the process by which a fire alarm business receives signals from a fire alarm system and notifies the Morgan Hill Fire Department.

Nuisance fire alarm means the activation of any fire alarm system, which results in a response by the fire department, caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, lack of proper maintenance, deliberate activation, or any other response for which the fire department personnel are unable to determine the apparent cause of the alarm activation.

Premises means any private or public residential, commercial, or industrial land and/or building(s) located within the city, wherein a fire alarm system is installed.

Proprietor alarm means an alarm which is not serviced by a fire alarm business.

Qualified fire alarm technician means any person who is licensed by the State of California Fire Marshal's Office to inspect, install, repair, or perform maintenance on fire alarm systems.

8.49.030 Administration; increases in fees; annual evaluation. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. Responsibility for administration of this section is vested with the fire chief.

B. The fire chief shall designate an alarm response administrator to carry out the duties and functions described in this section.

C. The amount of the fees and fines shall be specified in the city fee schedule adopted by city council. The fees and fines set forth in this Chapter may only be increased by a duly-adopted resolution of the city council.

D. The alarm response administrator shall conduct an annual evaluation and analysis of the effectiveness of this chapter and identify and implement system improvements as warranted.

8.49.040 Notification of fire alarm system. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. Every fire alarm business shall notify the alarm response administrator of the existence of a fire alarm system prior to the fire alarm system being put into operation. It shall be the responsibility of the installing fire alarm business to provide the alarm owner with notice of the existence of this chapter, and a copy of the fire alarm system operation instructions in accordance with adopted Codes, and the manufacturer's instructions.

B. The alarm owner shall be required to notify the alarm response administrator whenever there is a change in the fire alarm business responsible for maintaining, servicing, and/or monitoring the fire alarm system.

C. When any of the information above has changed, it shall be reported to the alarm response administrator by the alarm owner within fifteen days of the alarm owner becoming aware of such change; failure to comply shall result in an assessment against the alarm owner of a fine for a registration violation.

8.49.050 Monitored fire alarm system. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. All premises that are required to have a fire alarm system shall have the fire alarm system continuously monitored by a fire alarm business that holds a valid license issued by the California State Fire Marshal's Office. Violation of this section shall result in an assessment against the alarm owner of a fine for failure to have the fire alarm system continuously monitored. An alarm owner ordered by the alarm response administrator to disconnect or deactivate their fire alarm system are exempted from this section.

B. The fire alarm business shall report within five days to the alarm response administrator any commercial fire alarm system premises that discontinues or disconnects their monitoring service for any reason.

8.49.060 System certification. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

All newly installed or re-certified commercial fire alarm systems shall be approved by the alarm response administrator. The certification shall indicate that the fire alarm system is in compliance with adopted Codes. The certification shall be signed by a qualified fire alarm technician. A copy of the installation certification shall be provided to the Alarm response administrator after the completion of the testing of the fire alarm system.

8.49.070 Inspection, testing and maintenance. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. The alarm owner shall ensure that all fire alarm systems are inspected and tested at least once per year in accordance with adopted Codes.

B. The alarm owner shall ensure that all fire alarm systems are periodically maintained per manufacturer specifications and adopted Codes.

C. All fire alarm systems shall be inspected, tested, and maintained by a licensed fire alarm business.

8.49.080 Duties of fire alarm business. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. Each fire alarm business must designate one individual as the alarm response manager (ARM) for the business. The individual designated as the ARM must be knowledgeable of the provisions of this section, as well as have the knowledge and authority to deal with false fire alarm issues and respond to requests from the alarm response administrator. The name, contact number, and email address of the ARM must be provided to the alarm response administrator.

B. Report a fire alarm signal by using telephone numbers designated by the alarm response administrator.

C. After an fire alarm dispatch request, promptly advise the fire department if the fire alarm business knows that the alarm owner or an ARM is responding to the premises;

D. Each fire alarm business that monitors a fire alarm system must maintain, for a period of at least one year after the date of a fire alarm dispatch request, all records relating to the fire alarm dispatch request. Records must include the name, address and telephone number of the alarm owner, each fire alarm system zone activated, and the time of the fire alarm dispatch request. The alarm response administrator may request copies of such records for any individual alarm owner. If the request is made within sixty days after the fire alarm dispatch request, the fire alarm business shall furnish requested records within three business days after receiving the request. If the records are requested between sixty days and one year after the fire alarm dispatch request, the fire alarm business shall furnish the requested records within thirty days after receiving the request.

E. Each fire alarm business shall, upon request, immediately provide the fire department with the names and phone numbers of the alarm owner's emergency contacts at the time of each fire alarm dispatch request.

F. Existing Accounts. Within thirty days prior to the first day of January of each year, a fire alarm business shall provide the alarm response administrator with a complete list of active alarm owners whose premises are located within the city, to assist the alarm response administrator with creating and maintaining tracking data. The alarm owner information must be provided in a format acceptable to the alarm response administrator, which includes the following: [1.]Alarm owner name; [2.] Alarm owner billing address; [3.] Alarm Owner telephone number; [4.] Premises address; [5.] Fire alarm business State of California license number; [6.] The monitoring fire alarm business State of California license number, if different.

G. Conversion of Alarm Owners. A fire alarm business that converts the servicing of any fire alarm system account from another business shall notify the alarm response administrator of such conversion and shall provide to the alarm response administrator, within thirty days from the date of conversion, a list of the converted accounts, in a format acceptable to the alarm response administrator, which includes the following: [1.] Alarm owner name; [2.] Alarm owner billing address; [3.] Alarm owner telephone number; [4.] Premise address; [5.] Fire alarm business State of California license number; [6.] The monitoring fire alarm business State of California license number, if different.

H. It is unlawful for any fire alarm business to fail to comply with any applicable requirement within this Section 8.49.080.

8.49.090 Fire alarm activation; response (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018).

A. The alarm owner shall be responsible for the activation of a fire alarm system.

B. A response to the activation of a fire alarm system shall result when any officer or member of the fire department is dispatched to the premises where the fire alarm system has been activated.

C. The alarm owner shall be responsible for the fire alarm business to report a fire alarm signal by using telephone numbers designated by the alarm response administrator.

D. The alarm owner shall be responsible for the fire alarm business to communicate a fire alarm to the fire department in a manner and form determined by the alarm response administrator.

8.49.100 System performance review. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

The alarm response administrator may require that a system performance review be held with an alarm owner and the fire alarm business responsible for repairing or monitoring of the fire alarm system to review the circumstances of each false or nuisance fire alarm. The review meeting may be held in person or through a conference telephone call, at the alarm response administrator's discretion. It is unlawful for an alarm owner to fail to participate in a scheduled system performance review.

8.49.110 Nuisance fire alarms. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

The fire department may declare a fire alarm system at a specific premises to be a nuisance if such fire alarm system activates excessive false fire alarms. The city council hereby finds and determines that three false fire alarms within a three hundred sixty-five-day period is excessive and thereby constitutes a public nuisance. The fire department may not consider any false fire alarm in this computation of nuisance alarms if such was generated by earthquakes, high intensity winds, or unusual acts of nature. Nuisance alarms shall be those that are the result of the negligence of the alarm owner, the agents or employees of the alarm owner, or a defect in the fire alarm system.

8.49.120 Enforcement. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. It is unlawful for any person to violate or cause or permit to be violated any provision of this chapter.

B. Penalties, fines, and fees shall not apply to any newly installed fire alarm system for a period of forty-five days from the date of installation, but shall apply from and after the expiration of the initial forty-five-day period following installation.

C. A false fire alarm or nuisance fire alarm response fee or fine shall be paid to the city by the alarm owner upon the occurrence of four, and any subsequent, false or nuisance fire alarms received from any one source or from any one fire alarm system within a three hundred sixty-five-day period.

D. The fire alarm business or fire sprinkler company will be subject to the fee, fine and penalties if the firefighter responding to the false fire alarm determines that the fire alarm business or fire sprinkler company directly caused the false fire alarm. In this situation, the false fire alarm will not be counted against the alarm owner.

8.49.130 Remedies and penalties. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. The alarm response administrator has the authority to order a fire watch in accordance with adopted Codes, due to repetitive nuisance fire alarms and/or false fire alarms, until corrective action is taken.

B. Each building affected because the signal from the fire alarm system has been disconnected or deactivated shall be required to establish a fire watch until the fire alarm system has been returned to service. Duties of the fire watch may include notifying the fire department and building occupants of an emergency, preventing a fire from occurring, or extinguishing small fires.

C. The alarm owner is responsible for paying all costs associated with establishing a fire watch.

D. The alarm response administrator has the authority to request from the building division a temporarily suspension of the certificate of occupancy of the premises until all outstanding repairs are made on the fire alarm system or if the fire watch is not maintained to the satisfaction of the alarm response administrator.

E. The alarm response administrator shall have the authority to direct the alarm owner or alarm response manager of the premises to silence an activated fire alarm system, have corrective action taken and thereafter reset the fire alarm system.

F. Anyone convicted of falsifying reports as required under this chapter is subject to maximum penalty as established by the City of Morgan Hill or as otherwise provided under state law, in addition to administrative fines.

8.49.140 Appeals. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

If the fire department assesses a fee or fine, the fire department shall send written notice of the action and a statement of the right to an appeal to the affected alarm owner or fire alarm business.

8.49.150 Reconnection of fire alarm system. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

A. A fire alarm system may be reactivated upon a finding by the alarm response administrator that the alarm owner of the premises has taken corrective action to remedy the cause of the false fire alarms or nuisance fire alarms.

B. In making a request for such a reactivation, the alarm owner shall have the burden of showing what corrective action has been taken.

C. The alarm response administrator shall have the right to inspect the fire alarm system and test it prior to approving a new order to reconnect or reactivate the fire alarm system.

D. A reconnection fee shall be assessed to the alarm owner before any reconnection of a fire alarm system may be made.

E. The alarm response administrator shall not approve a new order to reconnect or reactivate if the alarm owner has failed to pay any fee or fine pursuant to this chapter.

8.49.160 Confidentiality. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

In the interest of public safety, all information pertaining to an alarm owner, contained in and gathered through, the administration of this chapter shall be held in confidence by all employees of the fire department, the city, or their representatives, provided that the city may disclose any information required to be disclosed by state or federal law or by court order after a reasonable notice to the alarm owner.

8.49.170 Government immunity. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

Certification of a fire alarm system is not intended to, nor will it, create a contract, duty or obligation, either expressed or implied, of fire department response. Any and all liability and/or consequential damage resulting from the failure to respond to a fire alarm dispatch request is hereby disclaimed and governmental immunity as provided by law is retained. When installing a fire alarm system, the alarm owner acknowledges that fire department response may be based on factors such as: availability of fire department units, priority of calls, weather conditions, traffic conditions, emergency conditions, staffing levels, prior alarm history and administrative actions. The City of Morgan Hill, its officers, employees and agents shall not assume any duty or responsibility for the installation, maintenance, operation, repair or effectiveness of any privately or publicly owned fire alarm system. All such duties or responsibilities are solely those of the alarm owner.

8.49.180 Severability. (Ord. No. 2271 N.S., § 1, 3-7-2018)

In the event any subsection, sentence, clause or phrase incorporated in this chapter is, for any reason, held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the chapter. The city council declares that it would have adopted the ordinance codified in this chapter and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase not declared invalid or unconstitutional without regard to whether any portion of the ordinance would be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional.